Sen. Mark Warner Is Pressing The FTC To Tackle Digital Ad Fraud After A BuzzFeed News Investigation


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In a letter sent today to the Federal Trade Commission, Sen. Mark Warner warned of the growing danger of digital advertising fraud and what he says is the inattention and "willful blindness" of Google and other major players to fraudulent and criminal activity.

"I am writing to express my continued concern with the prevalence of digital advertising fraud, and in particular the inaction of major industry stakeholders in curbing these abuses," reads the letter sent today to FTC Chair Joseph Simons.

Warner's letter comes as a result of a BuzzFeed News investigation published Tuesday that exposed a massive ad fraud scheme involving more than 125 Android apps and websites, and which one source estimates stole hundreds of millions of dollars.

"I am greatly concerned with recent reporting from Buzzfeed, detailing a massive digital advertising fraud scheme that depends, in large part, on a network of compromised Android apps," he wrote.

Warner, a Virginia senator and the vice chair of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, is applying pressure at a time when the digital ad industry is also facing scrutiny from law enforcement. The FBI is pursuing a criminal investigation of media buying practices, and federal prosecutors in Manhattan have begun issuing subpoenas, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Maggie Louie